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Roadside Crosses: A Kathryn Dance Novel (Kathryn Dance Novels) Hardcover – June 9, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In bestseller Deaver's surprise-filled third Kathryn Dance novel (after The Sleeping Doll), Dance, an agent with the California Bureau of Investigation, gets an eye-opening education in some of the hottest areas of the cyberworld. After an auto accident kills two teens, vicious smears of Travis Brigham, the teen driver deemed responsible but not charged in the accident, appear on the Chilton Report, a popular blog. After one of the accusing bloggers barely survives an assault, Brigham becomes a person of interest. Brigham disappears, and attacks, each preceded by a crude roadside cross, spread to other Chilton bloggers. Meanwhile, Dance also looks into a mercy killing at Monterey Bay Hospital that takes an unexpected turn, and Robert Harper, a special prosecutor from the attorney general's office in Sacramento, begins an investigation that will affect her. Deaver's expert and devious plotting makes it a challenge to stay only a couple of steps behind him. (June)
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From Booklist

Deaver is bound to slip up sometime. But not this time. This novel, which follows on the heels of Sleeping Doll (2007), again stars California Bureau of Investigation agent Kathryn Dance and, like its predecessor, is tightly constructed with a suspenseful story and plenty of plot twists. Deaver, perhaps more than any other crime writer, is able to fool even the most experienced readers with his right-angle turns, and this story of a serial killer who uses social networks to find his prey is full of them. Deaver’s investigators are very good at their jobs, and in order to fool them (and us), he must be exceedingly clever, as well as just a little bit deceitful (having characters say things that turn out not to be true, for example, even though they believed the things when they said them). So far Deaver has avoided accidentally telegraphing a plot twist in advance, but someday, surely, he’ll out-clever himself. Or maybe he won’t. This is an excellent entry in what promises to be a series as popular as the author’s Lincoln Rhyme novels. --David Pitt
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Product Details

  • Series: Kathryn Dance Novels
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416549994
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416549994
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Jeffery Deaver was born outside of Chicago in 1950. His father was an advertising copywriter and his mother was a homemaker. He has one younger sister who writes novels for teenagers ' Julie Reece Deaver.

Deaver wrote his first book ' which consisted of two entire chapters ' when he was eleven, and he's been writing ever since. An award-winning poet and journalist, he has also written and performed his own songs around the country. After receiving a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Deaver worked as a magazine writer, then, to gain the background needed to become a legal correspondent for The New York Times or Wall Street Journal, he enrolled at Fordham Law School. After graduation he decided to practice law for a time and worked for several years as an attorney for a large Wall Street firm. It was during his long commute to and from the office that he began writing the type of fiction he enjoyed reading: suspense novels. In 1990 he started to write full time.

The author of twenty-two novels, Deaver has been nominated for six Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, an Anthony award, a Gumshoe Award, and is a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader's Award for Best Short Story of the Year. In 2001, he won the W.H. Smith Thumping Good Read Award for his Lincoln Rhyme novel The Empty Chair. In 2004, he was awarded the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain's Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for Garden Of Beasts and the Short Story Dagger for "The Weekender." Translated into 35 languages, his novels have appeared on a number of bestseller lists around the world, including the New York Times, the London Times and the Los Angeles Times. The Bone Collector was a feature release from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington as Lincoln Rhyme. A Maiden's Grave was made into an HBO film retitled Dead Silence, starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin.

Jeff has also released two collections of his short stories, called Twisted and More Twisted.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on June 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Deaver specializes in thrillers, and in "Roadside Crosses" he manages enough twists and turns to keep you compulsively turning the pages. Here's the quick summation: go out an buy this book!

Kathryn Dance, whom Deaver introduced a few novels ago, is a specialist in reading people. The momentary smile or constant blinking of a suspect--something those without her training would never notice--gives her real insight into whether a suspect is lying or not.

This time, she is up against an internet genius.

Someone, it seems, is putting up roadside crosses, not, as is usual, as a memorial to someone who died in an auto crash. But as a way to announce a coming death. But why? And who?

The computer genius Dance is pitted against is as clever as it gets. Don't expect you can guess where Deaver is leading you; he's a terrific writer, and this is one of his best books yet.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Novel Bookworm on June 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Deaver does an excellent job in this second in the Kathryn Dance series. Even though the book references the incidents of the previous novel, the reader can follow along quite well. Dance's character is further fleshed out, allowing us to see a bit more of what "makes her tick". The book is an interesting foray into the world of blogging and especially into the world of cyber bullying. It was frighteningly true to life to see how rumors, innuendo and outright lies can travel the globe in the speed of a mouse click and the terrible ramifications for those targeted.
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35 of 43 people found the following review helpful By G. Allred on June 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of Jeffery Deaver since reading 'Praying for Sleep' and have since bought most of the books that followed, however, Roadside Crosses left me bored and uninterested. It seemed he was trying to convince the reader that he's a techie. Way too much teaching about the cyberworld and the whole book left me cold. Probably, Mr. Deaver is a bit burned out after having written such great books in the past, but he loses me as an avid fan. Before I'd buy another of his books, I will want some other readers input.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By T. Anderson VINE VOICE on July 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a big Deaver fan but Roadside Crosses was a disappointment. The main character, Kathryn Dance, specializes in kinesics--reading body language. Her character was originally introduced in a Lincoln Rhyme novel. As a secondary character she was fine...as the primary...I'm not so sure the whole kinesics thing works. In addition, the plot was not woven together well. Generally, if you are paying attention, there are clues throughout the book as to "who done it." In Roadside Crosses, you'll never figure out "who done it"...not because the plot is craftily written but because the breadcrumbs were never dropped for the reader to follow. My recommendation...save your money.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Chilton Report blog, owned and operated by Jim Chilton, opens up a discussion thread dubbed Roadside Crosses, which questions why an accident occurred on the spot where two roadsides intersect. The teens were going home after a graduation party; but two died, one was hospitalized and driver Travis Brigham hardly had a scratch. On the blog, everyone attacks Travis holding him responsible for vehicular homicide.

He becomes the victim of a cyber war in which each part is uglier than the previously horrific segue as people accuse him of all sorts of crimes. Tammy Parker was kidnapped and thrown into the trunk if her car, which he drove into the ocean at high tide; she was fortunate to be rescued. She said Travis did it Another female almost died from poisonous fumes; she tells the cops Travis did it.

California Bureau of Investigation agent Kathryn Dance investigates Travis, but when she tries to see him a second time, he is gone. As more people on the blog claim Travis attacked them, Kathryn applies her kinetics expertise to separate the lies from the truth in hopes of catching Travis before he kills again; he knows if he is caught he has no prayer as the evidence is extraordinarily overwhelming.

Jeffrey Deaver, author of the great Lincoln Rhymes mysteries, has another hit series with the Kathryn Dance police procedurals (see THE SLEEPING DOLL). The protagonist seems genuine because she makes mistakes even with her being the department's expert on reading body language. As she follows clues that seem to inch her closer to the perpetrator, she must deal with her mom being arrested for a mercy killing while also coping with the Blog attacks coaxing politicians to pressure her and other cops to catch Travis.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ananda Gupta on November 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As a suspense novel, "Roadside Crosses" works pretty well. But the quality of the research is subpar, and indeed causes me to question my enjoyment of the previous Deaver books I've read. In addition to several factual errors, there are a number of story details that just don't ring true at all, even if they are not technically errors. It's ironic that one of the book's themes is the misrepresentation or "translation failure" of facts on the internet, when the book itself is just as guilty. Here is a short list:

1. "DimensionQuest", the highly popular MMO played by two of the characters, is described as having "excessive blood". In a fight scene, a character "beheads" another. Yet the game is also described as T-rated (for teens). The ESRB does not permit games with graphic violence or beheadings the T-rating.
2. In the same game, a player is described as having "slaughtered an entire family". Not even M-rated (mature) games depict the killing of children. For this reason, children are simply absent from games that permit the player to kill indiscriminately.
3. Not an error, but one of those bad details: DQ is described as being very hardcore, with players suffering permanent consequences for their actions (such as loss of items, large amounts of experience, etc), and with real-life survival skills being necessary to survive in the game. No mainstream MMO would be designed that way. You cannot crack 10 million subscribers (as DQ has in the book) without catering to the casual audience, and that audience won't stand for such unforgiving gameplay.
4. The phrase "synth world" is used to refer to the online world, but virtually no one uses that phrase. The more accurate phrases would be "netspace" and "meatspace".
5.
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